diagnostic imaging and radiology

Bone Densitometry

Scans at Adventist Health Portland

Bone densitometry, also known as DEXA, uses low dosage X-ray to produce images of the spine and hip, the two areas where osteoporosis-related fractures most frequently occur. Following the X-ray, a computer calculates the amount of bone mineral present.

Before your scan

If possible, please wear pants with an elastic waist and no zipper or metal. Belt buckles, metal or thick plastic buttons, and metal jewelry will also need to be removed from the area being examined. In order to get an accurate reading, do not take calcium supplements or vitamin and mineral tablets for 24 hours prior to your exam.

During your scan

A registered radiologic technologist will perform your exam. Prior to the exam, your name, age, height, weight and ethnicity will be entered into the computer. This information is used to compare your results to a normal reference group. During the scan, you will lie on your back on the bone densitometer's large padded table. The technologist will position your arms and legs and ask you to lay still and breathe normally throughout the scan. Scans generally last 5-10 minutes.

After your scan

Your results will be uploaded to MyChart and provided to your rheumatologist for interpretation and assessment.